Operation Hackensack

Operation Hackensack S.M.A.R.T. Soldiers Graduate

Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center recently graduated its third class of soldiers who are participating in Operation Hackensack S.M.A.R.T. (Strategic Medical Asset Readiness Training).

The program, a partnership with the United States Army, focuses on high-quality, individualized specialty medical training for service members to improve their knowledge, skillsets and increase soldier readiness.  The program began in June of 2017 at Hackensack University Medical Center, the first health care institution in the nation to implement this initiative with the US Army Reserve.

“We are honored and privileged to support our military by providing high-quality, one-on-one medical training to our soldiers, ensuring they have the critical skillsets they need to maintain readiness,” said Ihor Sawczuk, M.D., FACS, president of Hackensack University Medical Center and the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. “We look forward to welcoming other soldiers for upcoming training sessions at Hackensack University Medical Center for this extraordinary program.”

Operation Hackensack S.M.A.R.T. integrates interactive observation training specific to the jobs soldiers perform in their military capacity. The soldiers partnered with their civilian counterparts at Hackensack University Medical Center for 14 days of immersion training utilizing cutting-edge technology, at no additional cost to the government.

During the recent session, 14 soldiers from across the country representing the following branches of the military: Army, Army Reserve, Air Force, NJ National Guard, and Coast Guard received training in the laboratory, administration, operating room, radiology and with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) crews.

“I cannot thank Hackensack University Medical Center enough for hosting our military members, allowing them to participate in the S.M.A.R.T. program,” said CDR James Corbett, chief of Logistics, Coast Guard Sector New York.  “Several of my staff members relayed what a profound impact this experience had on them and how it will greatly assist them as medical professionals both in and outside of the Coast Guard.  I was personally touched by Hackensack University Medical Center’s commitment to supporting our troops. The fact that the medical center maintains an Honor Guard is a true testament to its commitment to the Armed Forces.”

The focus of the S.M.A.R.T. program is to provide critical knowledge sharing between military and civilian medical professionals about best practices, techniques and procedures to ensure military service members are trained to use the most current technology in today’s rapidly changing health care landscape.

“Hackensack University Medical Center continues to seek out opportunities to support our service members and military veterans,” said Jason A. Kreitner, FACHE, vice president, senior operations officer, Hackensack University Medical Center. “For a third time, this unique partnership enabled us to support our servicemen and women who are on the frontlines defending our country in a meaningful way, giving them the skills and training they need to effectively fulfill their duty when they are called to serve.”

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